Original Broadway Cast

Call Me Mister

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The musical revue Call Me Mister successfully commented on the immediate post-World War II period, opening on Broadway on April 18, 1946, and running 734 performances through January 10, 1948. (The title was a reference to returning soldiers, who expected to be addressed as civilians again instead of by their military rank.) Betty Garrett achieved stardom singing "South America, Take It Away," in which a USO hostess complains about rhumba rhythms (it became a pop hit when recorded by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters), and she also had fun with "Little Surplus Me," which treated the same subject that had been addressed in the wartime hit "They're Either Too Old or Too Young," but in reverse; now, it was a woman in the military who was complaining about the lack of eligible males, instead of a woman back on the home front. "Military Life," sung by a trio of men, meanwhile, took a less than reverent look at veterans, noting that those who had gone into the service as jerks were still jerks now. The major male performer was Lawrence Winters, an African-American who expressed the point of view of his race (a point of view that would help lead to the civil rights movement) in such songs as "Going Home Train" and the tribute to recently deceased President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "The Face on the Dime." Songwriter Harold Rome's score was thus on a par with his earlier Pins and Needles, and it was delivered by a talented cast. [When Decca reissued the original Broadway cast album of Call Me Mister on a 10" LP in 1950 (DLP-7005), the song "When We Meet Again" was edited, with its opening section and introductory verse deleted.]

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